“Always do what you are afraid to do.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
A few days ago, I called my rheumatologist. I had noticed some minor improvement in my pain and stiffness during the previous couple of weeks…not as much as I might have hoped for, but I continued to focus in on the fact that things continued to get better (if only slightly) each day. How quickly things change, though. One day, things got a little bit worse. The next day, just a little bit worse. And so too, the next day. And so on. And so on. Rather than wait until I was in the midst of yet another flare, I decided to phone my doctor and let him know what was going on.
I’ve been back on my maximum Prednisone dosage for about a week now, and today I had another injection. Normally, I would have noticed some improvement by now, but so far things continue on a downward slide. I’ve (once again) started experiencing random spasms along the entire length of my left leg. A couple of nights ago, I woke up screaming during a particularly strong contraction. Yesterday, in the middle of my physical therapy session, it happened again. My physical therapist was absolutely frightened to see my leg completely pulled out of shape. (Think of the letter “c”…not even Gumby could do something like that!)
I know she was scared, because after the contraction passed she told me as much. Even if she hadn’t told me though, I would have know. The fear on her face was obvious. Although I knew it wasn’t my fault, I still felt a little bad. Sometimes it’s hard for even me to believe what’s going on, and that’s because I experience such episodes firsthand and see them with my own eyes. Still, at times it all just seems a little too unreal. Did that really just happen?
I continue to realize that just as the pain never really goes away, neither does the fear. As brave a face as I continue to put on my situation, the truth is…it’s scary as hell.
But I’m not going to let this fear to take control. (Been there, done that.) I’ll continue to figure out how to face this fear head-on, scary as it may be. I’ll continue to figure out how to neutralize this fear. I think I’m off to a good start…over the past week, as my condition continues to worsen and the medicines don’t seem to be delivering the results they have in the past, I’ve recognized my fear…but I haven’t allowed it to affect the way I think about or react to my situation.
I’m standing up to my fear…and in a world of pain, this actually feels really good.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!